Speaking to HumanIPO, co-founder Stephen Njoroge said that they are already in talks with leading banks in Kenya to enhance the service that the software gives to property agents.
“We have partnered with banks so that the agent gets the money deposited in their accounts,” he said.
The software keeps a record of payment, bridging the gap for agents with mobile money payment.
Njoroge said that the need came from the agents themselves. They wanted an easier way to collect rent but one that could not be abused by the tenants. Most agents refuse to take payment via M-Pesa as they are afraid of fraudulent payments.
Tenants can easily fake an M-Pesa transaction confirmation SMS, he says.
Another challenge for the agents is that there is a limit of how much you can keep on and transfer from the mobile phone. With M-Pesa there is a limit of KSh140,000 (US$1,600), causing a challenge when one agent has numerous clients.
The tenants would also benefit greatly from mobile money rent payment, making it easier for them to deposit money from the comfort of their homes. At the moment, the easiest way to pay rent is through bank deposits. Then the tenant has to make a copy of the banking slips and present it to the agent.
“Many Kenyans spend more than half a day’s time just to pay their rent. This is an enormous waste for the society and the individual,” Njoroge said. “This system, once integrated with their agents, will help tenants make payments in minutes.”
According to Duncan Muchangi, also a co-founder, some of the problems have been the perception of software in the country.
“Every time they think that they are expensive,” he said.
To shelve this notion, Manyatta Rent software will be offered free for three months after launch. Afterwards, commission will be charged on all the transactions performed on the platform.
Njoroge told HumanIPO that they will be working with other software developers to integrate their solutions on their products to enable them to spread quickly across the country.
The founders are optimistic that the revolution of mobile money payment in East Africa offers a good breeding ground for the startup to spread to other African countries.
Manyatta Rent will present their work to investors and interested people at 88mph's Demo Day on December 13, where they aim to get follow-up investment to continue their progress. More info on 88mph and Demo Day can be found at 88mph.ac.